Friday, September 30, 2011

A Little Heavy On The Emotions

Fear, joy, pressure, sympathy, and stress all come to mind. We are getting closer by the minute to having a house full of babies, and I am having elevated levels of everything. I am fearful I won't be the parent I want to be. I feel pressure to get things done before the babies come, and I am not sure I have enough time. I feel sympathy for our surrogate who must be struggling to move. There is a virtual whirlwind flashing before my eyes. It will all fall into place. I am confident my husband and I will make it happen.

We have our thirty week ultrasound tomorrow morning at 11am. We also plan to take a tour of the baby unit at the hospital. We have been to this hospital before and were super impressed by the facilities. They have all the latest and greatest bells and whistles, as well as private parenting suites that are nicer than some of the hotels we have stayed in. It is also the first hospital in India to be paperless. Go digital and go green!

Amritsar was an awesome trip. We took the express train from Delhi and reached our hotel around lunch time. The food in Punjab is amazing. It was so full of flavor, but it was not overly spicy. The India-Pakistan border ceremony is a sight to see. If you have extra time in India you can't miss it. You can YouTube it... search Waggah Border. The Golden Temple, the Sikh's holiest place, is a sight also. You should visit there at night and during the day to get the full perspective. We had dinner at a dive of a place on the side of the road before our train back to Delhi. I was concerned by the look of the place, but the food turned out to be amazing. Tandoori everything... love Punjab.

The monsoon has officially ended in Delhi. The weather is very nice with cool mornings and pleasant temperatures. If you are planning a trip to Delhi soon bring a few long sleeves because the mornings are chilly. Bring your bug spray though because it is now Dengue season and the last thing you need is to get that and a newborn!

Happy October... where did September go?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Did You Notice?

We have been hitting many milestones lately. We just passed 29 weeks last week. This coming week we will cross the big 30 week threshold (ah... that will feel so good!). I had a birthday yesterday. And our blog passed 10,000 views this last week (OK, yes, I admit that I hit refresh several times over in order to be the 10,000th page view; but, it still counts)!

We are off in a few minutes to visit Pakistan. Yep. We're going to the border. I don't think we'll be crossing into Pakistan (actually, I know we won't be doing that). but we'll be coming close. 


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Top Five Top Ten Things We Don't Need

Today at lunch, I got accused of being a frugal midwesterner (this was after I told the people at my lunch table that our financial plan for sending the twins to college was to have one go first semester and the other go second semester and then have them swap notes). In honor of that, I decided to start researching the things that we aren't buying. I think this is going to be my favorite post in a while. Here are the lists of things you don't need, and here's our score for what we're not buying.

This first list comes to us from the blog Simple Mom, and includes things like shopping cart covers, diaper pails and baby lotion. Out of the whole total of this list we are not buying 5/ 8.
This next list is one of my favorites that I've found so far. It comes from CBS Moneywatch and includes the truly ridiculous, such as: jeweled pacifiers, baby cable television, and baby perfume. Of these unnecessary things, we are not planning on purchasing 9/10.

When I saw changing table on here, I thought this list might make me start questioning my midwestern frugality (we are waiting on our changing table to be delivered as we speak). But, when I looked at the rest of the list from the consumer webazine Savysugar, we did OK. We are not buying 9/10. So far our score is 23/28 items. We're doing OK.  

Here's an interesting list from VegFamily (the magazine for vegan family living-- no, we're not vegan). While we don't plan on buying any disposable diapers, I have a feeling that at some point, we will break down on a trip or in a car and buy something that we can throw away. This is the second list that includes baby lotion. Hmm... I actually thought we needed that! Our score for not buying: 3/10. Ouch!! There goes our thrifty average!

And finally, here's a list from the British site iVillage. We didn't do very well on this one. In our defense, a couple of these things (like the Moses basket) are available in Indian markets for really cheap, so it hardly counts. And, seriously, who doesn't buy toys for their newborn?!?  Our score, not buying 4/10. 

So, the grand total is not buying 30/48 things? Is that sufficiently stingy for two guys from Indiana? I hope so! Cheers to everyone for a great weekend. Chad and I are headed to Amritsar with two good friends. This may be our last trip without babies. That's more than a little weird to think about! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Two-Hundred Days

I noticed the fishbowl is showing we have been pregnant for two hundred days. That is really cool. I remember when the thing said two hundred more days to go! It is hard to believe that we are racing to the finish line already. Time has just flown by. The nursery furniture arrived yesterday. The cribs were bungee strapped to the top of a auto rickshaw. It would have been a baby book worthy picture for sure, but the camera was upstairs. Better luck next time.

One crib is assembled, and the other one was missing the package of nuts and bolts. My guess is they flew out of the box while the tuk-tuk was racing across Delhi to our house. They should be bringing another set of tools tonight to complete that set up. The changing table/chest will be delivered some time this week.

Things are taking shape around our house. It is getting more and more baby-fied by the day. It is fun to go baby shopping. We spent both Friday and Saturday evenings at the mall. It was pretty awkward walking through Saket mall with two empty car seats though. I could feel people watching us and thinking: 1: "Where are the babies?" 2. "Where is the mother?" That was just my perception... but maybe they were all saying "Look at those cute gays who are obviously about to have the best time in their lives!"

We are traveling up to Amritsar for Doug's birthday on Friday with two awesome friends. We have wanted to go up there since we arrived in India, so let's hope the Golden Temple doesn't disappoint!


Protecting Sweet Things

In the absence of our babies, our newly purchased carseats had to protect some other sweet cargo on the way home from the mall. 

We are happy to report that our "buns" made it home just fine.

In other twin news, this slightly cute/slightly frightening food for thought from Twiniversity.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Shopping Foibles

Sometimes living in Delhi is unreal. Wait, scratch that. Living in Delhi is unreal a lot of the time. Pretty much any time that we go outside of the four gated walls of the compound on which we live. I was driving to the mall today to do some scouting for cribs and drove past an elephant walking the other way amidst the deluge of traffic. That actually doesn't happen too often in the city, but I counted it as a much needed sign of good luck, especially since I broke a Ganesh statue on my desk at work the other day. How do you give a proper burial to a Hindu god?

Anyhow, once I got to the mall, I found what I needed to find. Sort of. There are approximately six different MotherCare stores in the greater Delhi area. Last night, Chad and I went to one and found a crib that we liked, but not in the finish that we liked, so I was basically scouting around for the store that would have two in stock with the proper finish, and I found what I was looking for at MotherCare #2. Unfortunately, though, they didn't have the correct carseats. So, on to MC #3, which happened to be hidden away in the mall next door (yes, literally, next door).

Somewhere, on some security footage stored in some back room at Ambience Mall in Delhi, there is now a picture of a crazy white boy taking down the car seats from the shelf and trying out his carseat/stroller adaptor to assure proper fit with the aforementioned carseats. And then, there is footage of said white boy being unable to remove his stroller/carseat adapter from the carseat. And, finally, there is footage of him being surrounded by two slightly perturbed, slightly amused Indian workers finding the now very red-with-embarassment caucasian, and helping him remove his apparatus.

While I didn't get kicked out of MotherCare #3, I definitely left with my tail between my legs, and some sweat stains underneath my arms. And proceeded to go to the biggest sporting goods store I've ever seen in India, hoping beyond hope that they would have baseball gloves (Chad and I have a softball game tomorrow, and my blistered hand hasn't recovered from practice last weekend). I found tennis gloves, and while bent over looking at them, my rear bumped into a golf bag full of clubs, which bumped into another and then, like dominos, the bags just kept falling over.

Not my day for shopping, as evidenced by the half dozen department store works I left scratching their heads about what had just happened.

Ah, incredible India! How will we ever live anywhere else and manage to stay awake?


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Twenty-Eight Weeks

We are twenty-eight weeks pregnant today. So happy to be here and are hoping for ten more weeks of baby baking. We received a doctors report yesterday and everything checked out normal. Surromama is doing fine and taking it easy at home. We will have an ultrasound on October 1st and we hope to be present for that special screening.

I was in Shanghai last week for a technology conference. The irony of going to China for a tech conference and not being able to access things such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube didn't escape me. I didn't think the government restricted internet would get to me, but it did. Without Google you can't answer the important dinner question like "How old is Tina Turner?" Other than those unanswered questions, my colleagues and I had a great time exploring the city and doing some shopping. I couldn't resist buying two panda bears for our twins.

We are going shopping to buy our nursery furniture tomorrow. When I announced this at the lunch table yesterday everyone volunteered to come shopping with us. It feels great to live in such a supportive community.

Let the shopping begin!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Difficult Reading

Chad forwarded this NYTimes article to me the other day with the message "Don't read this until you're OK with crying for a while."

Fortunately, we didn't have to go through fetal reduction. Our surrogacy journey didn't take us down that particular road. We know we've had it easier than most so far. But, if you are going to pursue surrogacy, you have to be willing to answer some difficult questions for yourself. This is a particularly well-written article about one of the very difficult choices that accompanies pursuing a pregnancy through ART (assisted reproductive technologies).

Then, a few hours later he sent me this Slate article, which also got my wheels turning.

So, since neither of these articles are directly related to our surrogacy journey, why post them?

I post these articles because the idea of increased ethical implications due to so much freedom of choice that the Times author describes resonates with me. The more options people have for reproductive therapies, the greater the potential for ethical conundrums. Makes sense, right?

I post these articles because it prompted me to reflect on the ethics of our surrogacy arrangement. I hope it will make you reflect as well.

I post these articles because I want people to learn about their options, but to always be reflective about the ethics of their situations. In the end, my opinion about egg donors or fetal reduction doesn't matter to anyone besides my family and me. What's more important is that people do their best to be informed of the implications of their decisions.

And perhaps, for me, the most important reason I post these articles is to say that I am 100% A-OK with the ethical circumstances of our surrogacy. I am confident that our surrogate and our babies are receiving excellent medical care. Having met our surrogate, talked with her and her husband, gone to scans with her, I am confident that there is no coercion, and that she has freely entered into this arrangement. I am certain that the benefits her family will accrue from our agreement are phenomenally positive.

Perhaps you are thinking that there is no way for you to achieve your dream of having a family. Maybe you have an opinion about what surrogacy is, and you need to revisit how those opinions were formed.

These are not easy questions, or thoughts, but they are worth considering.


Saturday, September 3, 2011


As I've said before, one of the unexpected accompaniments to our surrogacy journey has been making connections with other people who find themselves on similar paths. In the last few weeks, it has been our honor and privilege to meet Beau and Cailyn and their proud parents Michael (Adam was unfortunately under the weather, so we haven't met him yet) and Kerrie and Mark.

Beau having a little snooze after dinner. 

 Beau just hangin' around!

 Mark, Kerrie, Cailyn, Douglas, Jyoti and Chad 

What a beauty! Cailyn catching some zz's 

Lately I've been thinking about the future. Not the near future when we will have little babies in our arms, but the more distant future, when we will have kids who are curious about the circumstances of their origins. I can't help but think that this community, this very 21st century Indra's net, will be integral to communicating to our children just how much they are loved, and how much their daddies wanted them!